New York is once again dealing with a cold stretch and intense snow. Newly appointed mayor Bill de Blasio has received a downpour of criticism over his handling of the situation, with many accusing him of neglecting richer Manhattan neighborhoods to plow other areas, including his own, first.
De Blasio, who won the mayoral election by a landslide last November and promised "a new direction," admitted last week that "more could have been done to serve the Upper East Side."
The admission came just hours after he rejected "mistaken" charges that the wealthy neighborhood was ignored.
Criticism piled up after it was discovered the mayor's plowed and snow-free Brooklyn house and other poorer areas were dealt with quickly, in sharp contrast to richer areas, where traffic came crashing to a halt and people slipped on ice.
In response to reporters' questions regarding the difference in snow management, de Blasio side-stepped, saying "all areas and being dealt with equally."
After reversing himself and recognizing the unequal treatment, de Blasio blamed an unspecified "glitch" in the system for causing the mix up. "The equipment was available, the personnel was available, the orders were given. So now we have to figure out what went wrong," remarked the mayor.
The New York Post reported that Sanitation Chief John Doherty has been advising the mayor regarding cleaning up the chaos caused by the snow. The paper notes that Doherty has been getting a pension of more than $100,000 since 2006, aside from his $205,000 salary.
On Friday, de Blasio said Doherty was "asked...to stay on in a transitional capacity – we’ve talked about focusing on the snow season."